City to (book)mark World Book Night

Posted on 22/04/2014 by

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Edinburgh libraries will be joining the celebrations to mark World Book Night 2014 tomorrow (23 April) by hosting free events across the Capital to encourage reading in local communities.

The celebrations will be led by the Central Library, which will be welcoming visitors to attend a debate with world leading psychology writer Richard Wiseman, whose book ‘59 Seconds’ is one of the top 20 titles being celebrated through Community Book Giving on World Book Night.

The event, which will be chaired by journalist Claire Black, will look closely at the modern day mind myths promoted by the self-help industry, and outline quick and quirky ideas to help people achieve their aims in minutes not months.

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, Oxgangs Library will be hosting a free World Book Night Quiz and Book Swap, while Leith and McDonald Road Libraries will be inviting visitors to discuss their favourite books with staff. Staff from Wester Hailes Library will also be visiting Tynecastle Boys Football Club to hand out books and promote Edinburgh libraries’ teenage reading programme.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture and Sport Convener, said: “World Book Night is a great opportunity for everyone in Edinburgh to share or even start their love of reading and encourage others to get involved. It is very appropriate that Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, are hosting this event to get people excited about reading, writing and literature.”

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Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency, said: “World Book Night is one of the highlights of the year for us and for all our partners; this year it promises to be more exciting than ever. All over the country people are coming together to celebrate and share their love of reading. The generous tradition of volunteer book giving inspired and supported by publishers is being extended this year to include community book givers all of whom will give away a book of their own to inspire someone in their community to love reading.

“We hope that this, together with the events taking place in libraries across the UK, will ensure that April 23rd is an evening we will all long remember; the night when many more people realise that everything changes when we read.”

On World Book Night, 250,000 titles will be given by a network of volunteer reading enthusiasts and institutions focusing on reaching the 35% of the population who don’t read for pleasure. As World Book Night plays out, strangers will become friends, colleagues will pause and reflect, libraries and bookshops will go the extra mile to ‘stay up late’, and authors of all genres will share their writings and love of the written word with audiences of all ages.

Since it began in 2011, World Book Night has created an extraordinary group of 46,000 volunteers, giving books away to over 2 million people. This will be a landmark year for World Book Night which has recently come under the guardianship of The Reading Agency: the charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader.

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This year for the first time, The Reading Agency is launching Community Book Giving, a new way of getting involved in World Book Night which will widen the opportunity for volunteer participation further than ever before, allowing even more people to spread a love of reading to those who don’t normally read for pleasure or own books.

Community Book Giving means that anyone can take part in the annual gifting of books on April 23 without applying to give away copies of the official books donated by publishers for the occasion; anyone can sign up, and they will be responsible for giving their own book, which can be anything they choose, either taking it from their book shelves, or buying it new or second-hand. Special World Book Night branded stickers and bookplates will be available from libraries, participating bookshops – including Waterstones and independents – or available online to download so that books can be officially branded as part of the celebrations.

As in previous years, World Book Night will be celebrated on UNESCO International Day of the Book with many experiences unfolding simultaneously across the UK, the USA and Ireland. In the UK flagship events will be held in Birmingham and London.

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Author Andy McNab’s ‘Today Everything Changes’ is one of twenty books included on this year’s list. He said: “I am delighted that one of my books has been included in World Book Night. I didn’t read my first book until the age of 17, but I clearly remember the feeling of pride and achievement when I closed the cover at the end. Books changed my life and if World Book Night puts books into the hands of people who otherwise might not discover them then it is achieving something incredibly important.”

For more information about World Book Night go to:

http://www.worldbooknight.org

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